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Photo TR: 22 Days in China with TPR


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^It's Chinese theming though...something feels really wrong or like only 1" deep about it.

 

That's true. For example, the Adventure of Moles building looked nice from the outside, but the inside looked like a college lecture hall with a flatscreen TV.

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^It's Chinese theming though...something feels really wrong or like only 1" deep about it.

 

That's true. For example, the Adventure of Moles building looked nice from the outside, but the inside looked like a college lecture hall with a flatscreen TV.

 

At the end of the day, I was very happy that I dragged the group I was with on to Adventure of Moles. Even though our team clearly won all three challenges, another group was declared the winner.

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^It was a good idea for an interactive attraction, and rather fun to play. It just needed to be more "immersive."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Chapter 15: Yes! More Crazy Mice!--Whorin' the Credits in Guangdong

You have probably sensed something of a pattern here: Visits to major parks are bracketed by fast-paced days of hitting little parks and credits scattered around a city or province. This is how TPR rolls, folks.

 

Robb did have to rearrange the schedule a bit, thanks to a cancelled flight. We were sitting there in an airport (I don't even recall the name of the city now), waiting to board the last flight to Guangdong (the name sounds somewhat "dirty"). The boarding time slipped by, people milled around the gate, but nothing happened. So, we sat and waited until, finally and with no announcement, the red "Cancelled" message on the gate sign was illuminated.

 

At this point, Chinese Hell broke loose. Angry, shouting Chinese people crowded the gate attendants, some of whom simply gave up and walked away. It all looked pretty hopeless, but Robb called the Chinese tour company and fixed it for us to spend the night at a local hotel and catch the earliest flight for Guangzhou the next day . So, in the end thanks to Robb's diligence, all was well. He had to change the schedule a bit the next day, too, by switching our filming session at Chimelong Paradise. My thanks to Robb for keeping a cool head and making sure everything went as smoothly as possible--we made it to Guangdong the next day without any issues.

 

And this is where we encountered our newest guide: Jack. This fellow actually started out reasonably well, but when we got to Shenzen, his entire world collapsed. More on this later, but for now, let's say that he and the bus driver got into some rather amusing arguments (even if I couldn't understand a word they were saying).

 

So, let's ramble around Guangdong and Guangzhou Province, shall we? Jack knows a lot about the area, and he's more than willing to share that knowledge with you. Boy, did he share it. Whether you wanted it or not.

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Pick out the happy Brit in this morning airport photo.

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We were all blown away by the bus's high-tech sound system!

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This was not our hotel in Guangdong, but it is an excellent example of Chinese prowess in coming up with names.

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Welcome to the Guangzhou Zoological Garden. They were setting up for some sort of flower festival.

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Breakfast, anyone?

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This looks like an enormous version of one of those "seed bells" that people put in birdcages.

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Never step barefoot on sharp, pointy things. This is always sound advice.

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Charlie Chaplin impersonators are allowed in this area.

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This zoo has a Mega-Croc! Excellent!

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It also has some credits--one with fully legal, licensed Disney theming (of course).

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This is the Little Worm Train.

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I doubt that "Guangdong" is Chinese for "little worm."

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They have some woodland creatures to carry through the whole "Snow White" theme--such as it was.

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Scott! Get excited!

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Forest Flying Mouse--which although it invokes feelings of deja vu, should not be confused with "Deja Vu."

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OK, I don't want to know what's in this pitcher--or whether it's being used to dispense or accept fluids.

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Yep--looks rather familiar.

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"The Pink Mouse of Power is mine!"

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The Smiling Dutchman rides again!

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Species "randomasaurus."

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Next up: Tianhe Park. I'm reasonably sure of this. I could be wrong.

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Hmm--my finely honed theme-park-geek instincts tell me that there may be a kiddie park here. Call it, a hunch.

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Robb is going to make the Fruit Worm Coaster a star.

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Oh boy! Golden Horse strikes again! I'm sure they sold a mess of these at IAAPA . . . oh, wait.

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It just wouldn't be a Chinese park without one of these beauties--right, gents?

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"You know, I've really lost track of how many of these we've ridden. How about you?"

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And, yes, there is a Sliding Dragon. I know you're shocked, but it's true!

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"I am the Chinese God of Sheer Terror! I hope you're wearing your adult diapers, because you will need them! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!"

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"Yes! A spider! Always terrifying! Better wring out your shorts!"

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"A dinosaur! The one you call Dave Thomas would approve! But this is nothing compared to the terror that is to come!"

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"It's a mask and a sheet! On a stick! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!"

 

More "amazing" stuff to come.

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The next two parks are a study in contrast. One (Xiaofantain) is located in the middle of nowhere in what looks like some sort of resort/summer camp, while the other (Amazing World) is inside of a decidedly urban shopping mall.

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Robb's joy is apparent as he rides Xiaofantain's Jungle Mouse.

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This ride is now immortal.

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I don't think anyone rode the neighboring Paratrooper.

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Well, there were chickens living under it.

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I think this guy was selling dried mushrooms, but I'm not sure. There was a haunted walk through, which I unfortunately missed.

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Yes, you will be amazed.

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KFC--the fried chicken that Bruce Lee liked. (Or is this "Kung Fu Chicken"?)

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But where is the amazement?

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Ah ha! Amazingness, at last!

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Hmm--I don't think I'd call it "amazing" but it does seem like "Pretty Pleasant World."

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The "amazingness" levels have now slightly increased.

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This is Amazing World's "extra large" Rollerskater. It bears the catchy name of "Roller Coaster."

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It is, indeed, a bona fide Vekoma that has passed its safety test.

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Roller Coaster has reached "amazing speed," which is just one step short of "ridiculous speed."

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This is Speed Mouse--a very funky spinning coaster by Zamperla. (I'm sure Golden Horse is taking notes.)

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Their excitement at sharing this experience is palpable.

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"Must . . . make . . . 'ridiculous . . . speed' . . ."

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This walk through was better than the dark ride pictured earlier.

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There was a pretty fair assortment of flats, such as this "Bouncy Bouncy" ride. (It was fun.)

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I'm getting a bit of a "Laurel & Hardy" vibe from these two.

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"Stanley, this is another fine mess you've gotten us into!"

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Er . . . if you say so.

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"Care to share me fully licensed, legal can of spinach, mate?"

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I leave you with a shot of big, glowing bunches of balls. That's all for now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Chapter 16: A Chinese Version of a Good Six Flags Park?--Chimelong Paradise

 

Well, after a long Christmas break, it's time to update this report. We visited two parks after our rescheduled credit-whoring day around Guangdong: Chimelong Paradise and Chuanlord Holiday Manor. These parks offer an interesting contrast; however, I took more pictures than I thought that day, so I'm going to split this day into two separate chapters.

 

Robb remarked that Chimelong was like a "good Six Flags park," and I agree with that assessment. The park itself was very attractive and well maintained, and the staff seemed pretty friendly, too. Although, unlike many other Chinese parks, it lacked a dark ride or a haunted walk through, there was a solid collection of non-cloned coasters here by Intamin, B&M, Vekoma, and Mack, and they offered a big (if somewhat silly) stunt show on top of that. There aren't any themed "lands" per se, but the park is divided into a number of "zones," such as "Screaming Zone" or "Adventure Zone" (and the kid-friendly "Happy Kingdom"). The landscaping throughout is essentially tropical.

 

In a shocking turn of events, there was neither a Spinning Mouse nor a Jungle Mouse!

 

But, as usual, the park seems to have trouble with names--unless you think "10 Inversion Coaster" or "Dive Coaster" are devilishly clever in their minimalism. Let's have a look at Chimelong Paradise. My next update will take on what I consider to be the "Chinese Knott's Berry Farm."

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Welcome to paradise! Well, that may be overstating things, but it is a nice park.

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Hmm--this looks like Sheikra buck nekkid to me!

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OK, who died and made this "King of Roller Coaster"?

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All coasters should have a "Happy Photo Studio." (Well, maybe not Ghostrider.)

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Yes, these cameras have such high resolution that they can take a clear picture of a fly at over 100 yards.

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Robb leads us in prayer before our filming session. Yes, all coasters are treated with proper reverence on TPR.

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Can you not hear the angels singing in praise of B&M?

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We dare not make a sound as the entire group is baptized in the Dive Coaster's sacred pool. (And, yes, it was a very good ride, indeed.)

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And now, a coaster with an even cooler name than "Dive Coaster"--10 Inversion Coaster! (That's "Colossus" to our British members.)

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Let's see, 1, 2, 3, . . . where are the other 7?

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There are, indeed, 10 inversions! And that's the bottom line, because Intamin said so!

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Once again, note the reverence of TPR members as they walk on holy ground.

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Because smile good!

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I admit that I'm not a big fan of Colossus, because it left me with a headache back in 2006.

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This one didn't seem quite as rough, but I'm still not a big fan.

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The loop is the best part.

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I much prefer the Mega Lites or Gigas to these multi-inversion coasters.

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Oh my god! Those poor people are going to be smashed into that support! Oh, the humanity!

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Noted!

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This dude is definitely feeling "physically uncomfortable."

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So the staff sent him here.

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I felt a bit "physically uncomfortable" after riding this Intamin Half-Pipe.

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Catchy, eh?

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But at least it's a real, honest-to-god Vekoma!

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Neil is very happy to be riding a real Vekoma.

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"Wha? Did something just crawl up my leg?"

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Everyone seems to be smiling.

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"Happy, smiling people everywhere . . ." I like these Booster Bike coasters, too.

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The filming completed, the group was turned loose on an unsuspecting Chimelong Paradise.

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"Ahoy! Coaster enthusiasts off the port bow! Tell the cook we be needin' extra gravy!"

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Suddenly, I feel that I'm at Land of the Dragons in Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

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Or "the Justin Bieber Ride."

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Now here's an interesting way to keep people from sitting on the handrails.

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Again, the people ride in awed, reverent silence.

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Another solid Mack ride being treated with the proper, quiet respect it deserves.

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Bill was so moved by the experience that he wept with joy.

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What's this? A hand in the air! Stone the blasphemer! More to come from Chimelong Paradise.

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There's still more to see at Chimelong--especially if you're into bizarre Chinese signage.

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This is probably the most disturbing sight in the park.

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I opted for the "onion ring," although the "fied squid" was tempting.

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I think we may have found the kids area. Just a hunch.

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"Kinds' Land"?

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"Boo! Me squash misspelled sign good!"

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Whew! What a relief! (Well, at least until the next group of kids gets there.)

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Larry was so disappointed that he missed the show . . .

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. . . he put on his own.

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Sheesh! Everyone's a critic!

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Let us escape this creepy place before it becomes "infected" again!

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Welcome to the Chinese version of Legoland's Fire Academy.

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But if you push your car and injure someone, that's OK?

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England and Scotland united to win one for the queen!

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I can't believe we lost to a Scotsman and a Brit.

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"Oh, they all look so good, I don't know who to kill and eat first."

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Well, how about another look at those 10 inversions?

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Boy, are those people getting screwed!

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Yep--I had to pay for that last caption.

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A 4D movie makes Neil happy. Air conditioning makes the rest of us happy.

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So it's win-win.

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Just what sort of "action" did we encounter?

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Big-wave action!

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Slutty-chick-with-a-whip action!

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Good-girl-with-a-gun action!

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Stupid-henchman-who-are-about-kill-themselves action!

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See-previous-caption action!

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Flaming-car action!

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Flaming-dude action!

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Everything-blows-up action!

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And, of course, main-reason-this-show-exists action!

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OK, remember what I said earlier about the juggling clown being "the most disturbing sight in the park"? I stand corrected. ;)

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That's all from Chimelong--definitely a park worth visiting.

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I liked this park a lot.

 

But this was the first day of it starting to get very humid, for myself.

 

And then we kept finding places we wanted to eat, closed for their season.

A bit frustrating, but we eventuially found a place indoors, and with chicken feet!

(not)

 

The photo in question below? Something happened either during the run or near the

end of it, and we all just broke up laughing, into the station. Or it was a Religious Experience, yeah.

 

I totally forget, though. Anybody on that train remember? Help?

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Tears of Joy and Funny. Of what, I cannot remember.

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Was pleasantly surprised with Chimelong. Really nice little park. Was a very hot day though. Nice selection of coasters too, loved the manufacturer stock names on them! The onion rings were excellent. Their version of Fire Rescue seemed a little dilapidated but Divv and I managed to win for the UK! I also think this was the second time on the trip we subjected ourselves to watch Yogi Bear in Chinese, mainly for the extended (but not long enough) air conditioning time. Overall a nice park and wouldn't mind visiting again.

 

Edit: Sorry, it was Ice Age in the 4D cinema here! Language was Chinese but at least this version had moving seats unlike Alton's!

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The heat and humidity started to really hit me at Chimelong

and continued through to Ocean Park in Hong Kong.

That's mainly why I decided not to do the Hong Kong tour

after we visited OP. I'd just had enough with the heat.

 

And the Hollywood Hotel's pool at HKDisney was soooooo nice.

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^That's probably while I felt "bleah" for so long after riding the Half Pipe.

 

That half-pipe was sooo much rougher than the only other I have ridden (Avatar at MoA). Wasn't at all keen on it. The MoA one was much nicer but to be honest they both spin so they both get a point knocked off in my book!

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